The Extremists (Khawaarij) Methodology of Forbidding Evil, By Imam Murtada Gusau
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Alhamdu Lillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.
I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His ‘abd (servant) and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Al-Imraan, 3: 102)
“O people! Revere your Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another and (cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is ever watchful over you.” (An-Nisaa’, 4: 1)
“O you who believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger have certainly achieved a great victory.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33: 70 -71)
Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SAW) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the Fire.
Servants of Allah!
My today’s Khutbah (Sermon) Insha-Allah is going to be a response to some important questions by some Brothers and Sisters from Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu and France, who sent their questions through my email. I decided to answer their questions in Khutbah (Sermon) for the benefit of all. Below are the questions and my answer to them seeking help from Allah (SWT):
Question: Imam, within the last couple of years and today, we have heard some of the religious callers and preachers talking about the different ways of calling people (to the truth) and forbidding evil. Some of these ways include political demonstrations, assassinations, terrorist’s attacks, rape, kidnap and marches. And perhaps some of the people (ignoramuses) even consider these to be forms of Islamic jihad.
1. We hope for clarification regarding whether these things are legitimate means legislated by Islam or if they are considered blameworthy religious innovations and forbidden means;
2. We also hope for an explanation of the correct way to deal with people who invite to these actions, promoting and calling to them;
3. Is it permissible to inform the authorities about another Muslim who is deviant in his creed/methodology and understanding of Islam since that person will cause harm to the Muslim society and the society at large?
Answer: All praise and thanks are for Allah. It’s well-known that the command to enjoin good and forbid evil, calling to the truth, and guiding people are all from the foundations of Allah’s religion, Islam. However, Allah (SWT) says in His Mighty Book:
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good preaching, and argue with them in a way that is best.” (Al-Nahl, 16: 125)
And when He (Allah) sent Musa (Moses) and Haarun (Aaron) to the pharaoh, He said:
“And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear (Allah).” (Taa Haa, 20:44)
The Prophet (SAW) came with wisdom and he instructed callers and preachers to use wisdom and be patient. This is also in the Qur’an in Surah al-Asr:
“By the time, certainly, mankind is in loss; except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised one other with the truth and advised one other with patience.” (Al-Asr, 103:1-3)
So, the person who calls to Allah (SWT) and the one who enjoins good and forbids evil should adorn himself/herself with patience, hoping for his rewards, and bearing patiently whatever he hears or faces during his preaching.
As for someone who chooses a path of harshness or – may Allah protect us – one that causes harm to people, commotion, differences, discord, or that disunites people – these are Satanic ways and the foundation of the call of the Khawaarij (The Extremists). They are the people who oppose evil militarily by taking up arms. They reject anything they do not agree with, anything that contradicts their beliefs, and they do this by means of fighting and bloodshed and by declaring people to be disbelievers among other things. So, they have differentiated between the calling and preaching of the prophet’s companions and our righteous predecessors and between the call of the Khawaarij and those who follow their methodology and ways (and they have chosen the latter). The call of the companions was one of wisdom, preaching, clarifying the truth, patience, and by noble means while hoping for reward. But the call of the Khawaarij, terrorists, and extremists, is one of fighting against people, spilling their blood, considering them disbelievers, disuniting them, dividing Muslims into separate, opposing sects. These are wicked actions and foreign, religiously-innovated deeds.
The best thing to do with people who call to these types of things is to avoid them, expose them, stay far away from them, their creed/methodology and never give them the benefit of the doubt. Those people cause divisions among Muslims. A unified group is a mercy from Allah and disunity is discord and a punishment, and we seek refuge with Allah. If the people of a single country were united upon good, united upon a common view and objective, they would have dignity and prestige.
Today, the citizens of most countries are divided into rivaling factions, groups and parties. They have split up and differed, so their enemies, both from among themselves and others, have infiltrated them. This is an innovated way, a filthy path – the very path taken before by those (Khawaarij) who broke away and fought the leader of believers, ‘AIi Ibn Abi Taalib (R.A) and those with him from the prophet’s companions and those who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (SAW). They (the Khawaarij) fought against him claiming they only wanted rectification while they were the very pinnacle of corruption, at the very height of innovation, and the peak of discord. They are the same ones who disunite Muslims and weaken them. Even someone who merely speaks their ideas, adopting them and trying to beautify them – this one too is evil in belief and he must be avoided. They were called the Khawaarij Qa’diyyah (The sitting Khawaarij), who incite people by their preaching.
And know – may Allah protect us – the difference between a person who causes harm to the entire nation as well as merely those who sit with him and between someone who is on the truth. He should be a Muslim working, building, and calling to that which is good, enjoining righteousness. He should speak only the truth and invite in a good, gentle and tolerant manner, suspecting good of his brothers. He knows that attaining complete perfection (in society) is extremely difficult, and that the only one free of faults was the prophet (SAW). And know that if those people pass, it may not be that better people will come; if people present now – be they the leaders, authorities, students of knowledge, or simply the general public of any country – if they all passed away, people much worse than they may come. No year will come except that the following year will generally be worse.
So, whoever expects people to reach a complete level of perfection or to be totally free of mistakes and sins, such a person is foolish. Those are the khawaarij, the ones who disunite people’s views, destroy their religion, economy, and causing them harm. These are the very objectives of those who fight against the people who stick to the Sunnah and the mainstream body of Muslims – fighting them with their religious innovations, whether they are the Rafidah, the Khawaarij, the Mu’tazilah, or any of the various colours or sects of the people of evil, misguidance and innovation.
May Allah guide and protect us all from evil and evil people, Ameen.
All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him.
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, peace and blessings on him, is His servant, and his Messenger.
Servants of Allah!
The Islamic position regarding those who incite or plan terrorist acts such as suicide, kidnap or bombings is that Muslims should inform the authorities of their activities. This is regardless of whether these acts are perpetrated in Muslim or non-Muslim countries. Muslim communities must be at the forefront of stamping out these non-Islamic acts that are done falsely in the name of Islam. The Messenger of Allah stated:
“Whoever sees an evil let him change it with his hand. If he is not able to do that, then let him change it with his tongue. And if he is not able to do that, then let him with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.”(Reported by Muslim)
The scholars have stated that changing with the hand is done by the governments and authorities, so they hold and punish and imprison the evil doers. If they withhold from this duty, it does not fall into the hands of the citizens to take the law into their own hands. Rather they remain patient. As for speaking against the evil in terms of refuting the false ideologies and creeds, then that is for the scholars and the people of knowledge, not for the ignorant, and there has never been time in the history of lslam, except that the scholars have spoken out against evil ideologies and doctrines as a safeguard for Islam, and this will not stop up until the final Hour is established. As for the general and ordinary person then he forbids only in accordance to his knowledge and ability in line with the rulings of the true scholars of the Sunnah based upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah (Hadith). As for hating with the heart, then this is for the one who recognises evil, but does not have the knowledge or the ability to speak against this, so he distances himself from it and keeps away from it. So as it relates to the terrorists, then it is known by the one possessing knowledge as well as the one who is devoid of it, that these acts are evil and condemned by the Muslim scholars based upon the texts of the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). So both, the one possessing knowledge and the general person, inform the authorities of those that incite or plan terrorists acts.
And this is from the aspect of forbidding evil and thereby earning the reward of Allah, the Most High. Indeed it is a distinguishing trait of this nation (Ummah) that they enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Allah states:
“Let there arise from amongst you a group of people that call to good and they enjoin the good and forbid the evil. And indeed they are the successful.” (Al-Imraan, 3:104)
Indeed nations that came before were cursed upon the tongues of the Prophets due to them not forbidding the evil when it appeared. Allah, the Most High, states:
“Those amongst the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud (David) and Isa the son of Maryam (Jesus son of Mary). That was because they used to transgress the bounds. They used not to forbid one another from evil which they committed…” (Al-Maa’idah, 5:78 -79)
So today’s Muslims should take heed from this great verse. Additionally, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) stated:
“There are not a people, amongst whom sins are committed, and they are stronger than those who commit them yet they do not prevent them, except that Allah sends His punishment upon them all.”(See Tashabbuhul-Khasees of Imam adh-Dhahabee and the hadith is authentic).
Another reason why these terrorists and their ideology must be stamped out is due to the fact that they are innovators and misguided ones who have attributed to Islam that which Islam is free of, and it is impermissible to accommodate them or defend them or protect them, or even love them, due to the statement of the Prophet (SAW):
“Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator, then upon him is the curse of Allah, His Angels and the whole of mankind.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)
And there is not a shadow of a doubt from an Islamic perspective, that these terrorist ideologies are innovations and these perpetrators are innovators, and it is not permissible to protect them or give them refuge.
One can recognise the ideology of these evil doers from certain matters that their lectures, preaching and discussions always revolve around, they always call for rebellion and revolution in the Muslim communities and against the Leaders; they declare the Muslim leaders and those who work in the apparatus of government to be apostates and unbelievers; they praise the suicide bombers and terrorists and insurgencies in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and other places and continually justify their actions; they may praise the bombings of 9/11 in New York, 7th July bombings in London or the Madrid bombings. Or you may hear them praising the attacks in France, Nigeria, Mali and Kenya or the attacks in the Muslim countries, like the attacks in Riyadh and Khobar all in Saudi Arabia. Or the terrorist attacks in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya etc. These discussions of theirs may not necessitate that they themselves will organise or carry out terrorist acts but this speech of theirs incites others towards violence. Remember it only takes two or three young men (or women) who have been affected to go out and wreak havoc.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW), mentioned these renegades (Known as the Khawaarij) in a narration:
“If I am alive when they appear, I will slaughter them with the slaughtering of Aad.”
And Aad was a tribe mentioned in the Qur’an that was punished by Allah for their evils and transgressions. He (SAW) also stated:
“They are the worst of Allah’s creation under the sky.”
Servants of Allah!
There are many, many other narrations of the Prophet (SAW) and his Companions (R.A) describing them, to the extent that Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and Imam an-Nawawiy, two great scholars of the Middle Ages, stated the consensus (Ijma’) of the great scholars of the Islam and Sunnah that these renegades must be prevented, stopped and fought against. In fact Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (died 728 AH) states that the Khawaarij (Extremists) are more harmful to Islam and the Muslims than the Jews and the Christians. And this is due to the fact that these so-called Jihadis, Takfiris and terrorists are a cancer within the ranks of the Muslims, destroying the purity of the Religion from within.
So when one looks at the activities of these people such as the killing and kidnapping of men, women and children, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, one sees that they are indiscriminate in their murderous acts. After what has been mentioned above one can see why the Scholars of this noble and blessed Islamic da’wah have issued verdicts calling people to inform the authorities if they know of anyone inciting or planning terrorist acts.
There is no doubt that those making a link between terrorism and what they term as ‘The Wahhaabis’, intending by that the Ahlus-Sunnah, have made a mythical link based upon fallacies and falsehood. The great Scholar Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (died 1206 AH), after whom his adversaries invented the derogatory term ‘Wahhaabi’ for anyone who studied his works with sincerity – then this scholar was the most fervent in his opposition to deviation and deviant ideologies. Rather the Ahlus-Sunnah whom the opposers term as Wahhaabis, have been at the forefront of combating the terrorist, takfiri, false jihadi and khariji ideologies, for decades. And this refutation of the Ahlus-sunnah scholars upon these groups was not just a mere response to modern-day events but rather a religious obligation upon them regardless of prevailing circumstances.
So Sayyid Qutb, the father and reference point of the modern day false jihadist-terrorist movements, was refuted by the Ahlus-Sunnah scholars for his call to assassinations and violent revolution decades ago and again in the early nineties by the likes of the scholars such as Shaikh Bin Baaz, Shaikh Bin Uthaimeen, Shaikh Nasiruddeen al-Albaany, Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadi al-Waadi’i, Shaikh Fawzaan, Shaikh Ubaid al-Jaabiriy and especially in great detail by Shaikh Rabee’ bin Hadi al-Madkhalee who authored several books in exposition of Sayyid Qutb and his creed/ideology. Shaikh Bin Baaz warned and exposed the evil doctrine of Osamah bin Laden back in the early nineties, whilst the Islamic political groups were in praise of him. All those Islamic scholars warned against the dangerous people like, Salmaan al-Awdah, ‘Aa’idh al-Qarnee, Safar al-Hawaalee, Sayyid Qutb, Anwar al-Awlaki, Abdallah Faisal, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Abu Qataadah al-Filistiniy, Yusuf al-Qardaawee, Hasan al-Bannah, Muhammad Suruur, Abu Hamza al-Misri, Umar Abdurrahman, Muhammad al-areefiy, Abdurrahman Abdul-Khaaliq, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawaahiriy, Jamaluddeen al-Afghaniy, Muhammad Abduh, Muhammad Qutb, Taqi al-Deen al-Nabahani, Abdullah Azzam, Saleem Begg, Omar Bakri, Shakeel Begg, Anjem Choudary, Adnan Ar’oor, Muhammad al-Mas’aree, Abu Yahya al-libi, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqaawee, Abu Baseer at-Tartoosee, Abu Bakr al-Baghdaadee, Muhammad Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau of Nigeria and others like them.
Sayyid Abul ‘Ala Maududi is another reference point for the modern day violent politically motivated groups, yet the Scholars such as Shaikh Rabee’ al-Madkhali, Shaikh Ubaid al-Jaabiree, Shaikh Hammaad al-Ansaaree have exposed his errors and warned against his approach. Another example is the warning of the Yemeni scholar Muqbil bin Haadee against the HAMAS of Palestine whilst the latter were supporting terrorist attacks on civilian buses in Israel. We also have the Scholarly stance against Hezbollah of south Lebanon, such as the statements of Shaikh Bin Baaz, Shaikh Bin uthaimin, Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmi and others. Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen in his now published explanation (Sharh) of ‘Riyaadhus-Saaliheen’ well over twenty years ago showed his clear abhorrence at the suicide bombings in Palestine. So this is the clarity with which the Scholars speak and have always spoken. Over a thousand years of Islamic authorship, from the time of the disciples of the Prophet until this day, the Scholars of Sunnah have been refuting the false ideologies and dangerous creed, whether extremist or negligent – whereas the people of deviation will respond based upon political expediency, but the underlying ideology in support of revolution and suicide attacks remains. How is it possible to be straddling both sides of the fence in this issue, whilst the Qur’an and Sunnah (Way of the Prophet) is so clear upon them?
What is astonishing is that these same people accuse the Scholars of Sunnah, whom they call Wahhaabis, of being responsible for these false extremist ideologies. It reminds us of the lines of poetry:
“She accused me of the illness she possessed, and then slipped way!”
Brothers and Sisters!
In times of trials and fitnah like this in which we are in, if a Muslim is asked about the condition of another Muslim, that Muslim who he’s being asked about is upon a way or methodology that is different from what Islam came with like killings and attacking without just cause then it’s upon that person who asked to say that which he knows about those people. He should say the truth openly. Because in that there is a prevention of these types of attacks and killings that take place which opposes the way of Islam. At the same time by doing so, the person being asked removes doubts from himself in the minds of those people. Such that, if he has hidden anything they would have considered him also to be a terrorist in the same way. The actions of the Khawaarij or killing people without cause and just reason or destroying companies, schools, markets and buildings, this has nothing to do with Islam in the slightest. As for the proof that some people use by saying that whoever transgresses against you then you transgress against them similarly, this is with regard to two people similar in status, rather your Lord says:
“And if you forgive then this is closer to piety.”
And He also says:
“And if he forgives then his reward is with Allah.”
On top of that we all see the results of these types of attacks and these types of unjustified killings and the way that it has brought harm to Islam and the Muslims. Maybe even bad thoughts and misunderstanding about Islam in itself.
I ask Almighty God (Allah) to enable every Muslim and non-Muslim to fully understand these words and to comprehend the true Islamic position With respect to the people of misguidance. We also ask Him to grant every person the ability to grasp the true message and beauty of Islam as it was revealed to the noble prophet of Islam.
Indeed all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creation – and May peace and blessings be upon the prophet, his family, his companions and those who follow him precisely until the Day of Judgement.
“Inna lillahi Wa inna ilaihi Raaji’uun!” “Indeed we are from Allah and unto Him we return.”
I received the news of the death of Shaikh Musa Muhammad (1947-2015), the Chief Imam of the National Mosque Abuja with great shock, on Saturday evening, May 2nd, 2015.
On behalf of my humble self, my family and the entire Muslim community in Okene, I commiserates with the leader of all Nigerian Muslims, his Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and Professor Ishaq Oloyede, Secretary General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Secretary General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), and the entire Nigerian Muslims on the death of the Chief Imam. Surely, the Chief Imam would be remembered for his knowledge, patience, experience and humility. The Nigerian Muslim Ummah would also miss his wealth of service to the humanity. Surely, Allah takes what is His, and what He gives is His and to all things He has appointed a time… So let us have patience so that we are rewarded.
Oh Allah! Forgive our Chief Imam his shortcomings and failings, elevate his station among those who are guided, send him along the path of those who came before, forgive us and him, oh Lord of the worlds. Enlarge for him his grave/tomb and shed light upon him in it. Oh Allah! Take him into paradise and protect him from the punishment of Hell-fire.
Indeed, death is not a tragedy if the dead is a sincere and true Muslim and able to fulfill his purpose in life. May Allah be Merciful to the soul of Imam Musa Muhammad. I pray that Allah (SWT) gives his family and the Muslim Ummah the strength and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, ameen.
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Rajab 19, 1436 A.H (May 8, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through 08038289761.